Birds of a Feather

Reader Contribution by Andrew Weidman
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Last week I promised a gallery of bird pictures. True to my word, I dug through my photo stacks, looking for some birds to share. Before long, the search parameter shifted from “Can I find enough to share?” To “Which ones fit together?”

It’s not that I think I have a lot of great pictures to share; there’s just so darn many of them! Most aren’t worth mentioning — blurry, out-of-focus, bad lighting, subject caught half out of the frame or mid pit stop. It’s the curse of the spaghetti method: lots and lots of photos to wade through.

Even removing the poor shots that I just can’t bring myself to delete left me with hundreds of mediocre to okay photos to dig through, looking for a few gems worth your time. I selected eight to start with; I’ll share more soon.

A theme would probably be a good place to start, and in the future I foresee themes of waterfowl, raptors, warblers and sparrows. Today’s gallery follows the theme of “There Is No Theme.” I just liked each photo for itself. So here goes nothing:

I think every budding birder falls in love with Northern Cardinals. They’re just about everywhere, and they really pop, especially the males.

And who doesn’t love acrobatic little Black Cap Chickadees, bouncing from branch to branch and flitting in and out of feeders?

Early spring wouldn’t be the same without Red Winged Blackbirds calling from the marshes as they guard their nests and quarrel amongst themselves.

Then there are the woodpeckers, like this Red Bellied, more often heard than seen. They do seem to prefer the other side of the trunk, high in the tree tops.

This American Goldfinch enjoyed a game of hide-and-seek with me, keeping plenty of leaves between himself and the camera lens before settling down for a snack of buds.

Killdeer have the oddest, yet most effective camouflage I’ve ever seen (or tried to see), boldly marked, but still vanishing in plain sight. How do they do it?

Oddly enough, there were a few birds who seemed to like posing for the camera, like the Baltimore Oriole at the top of the post, or this tree swallow. Go figure.

If I’ve misidentified any birds, I apologize. I’m still new to birding, with a lot to learn. Feel free to correct any errors. Have you spotted or photographed anything new and exciting lately? I’ll even take new and/or exciting.

What do you want to see next? Ducks, raptors, warblers or waders?

Photos property of Andrew Weidman.

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